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  • Delhi witnessed improvement in air quality so far: Environment Minister

    Published on November 21, 2019

    Delhi has witnessed overall improvement in air quality so far this year successively since 2016. The number of good to moderate days in term of air quality has increased to 175 in 2019 as compared to 158 in 2018 and poor to severe days reduced to 148 as compared to 165 last year.

    This was stated by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in the Rajya Sabha today while making a statement on calling attention to the situation arising out of the dangerous levels of air pollution in Delhi and other parts of the country.

    Mr. Javadekar said, the government has launched the National Clean Air Programme in January this year to tackle the problem of air pollution. He informed that in 2019-20, the total stubble burning incidents in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana were reduced by 19 per cent as compared to last year.

    The Minister also said, a comprehensive air plan for Delhi and NCR region has been developed and a Graded Response Action Plan for a different level of pollution has been notified. He added that the government is promoting cleaner alternative fuels like CNG, LPG and ethanol-blended petrol.

    He said, in the year 2018-19, State Governments have supplied over 56 thousand machines to farmers and custom hiring centres for in-situ management of crop residue. He added that Centre has allocated ten crore rupees for 28 cities in the current year for promoting public awareness.

    Mr Javadekar informed that ambient air quality is monitored at 793 locations covering 344 cities 35 States and Union Territories.

    Participating in the discussion, Kumari Selja of Congress said that a holistic approach should be adopted to tackle the problem of air pollution. She said, instead of accusing farmers of stubble burning, they should be provided technology and incentive.

    Mr Vijay Goel of BJP criticized the Delhi Government for the current situation in the National Capital Region. He accused that Arvind Kejriwal Government has not done anything concrete to tackle this menace.

    While Mr. Goel was speaking, there was a heated argument between the members of treasury and the opposition benches over the issue. Highlighting several measures taken by the AAP Government to improve the air quality in the city, Mr Sanjay Singh of Aam Adami Party accused BJP of tarnishing the image of the Kejriwal Government on this issue.

    Ms Vandana Chavan of NCP appealed that no politics should be played on this sensitive issue. She stressed that concrete steps must be taken at the grassroot level to address air pollution.

    RJD MP, Prof. Manoj Jha said, only farmers cannot be made responsible for air pollution. The discussion is underway.